President-elect Donald Trump recently had an ‘off the record’ meeting with members of the American press, aka mainstream media. Such events are not unusual for presidents and future presidents, but according to a variety anonymous sources, Donald Trump has not extended an olive branch to media figures who displayed their open bias against him throughout the campaign.
According to The Hill, Trump said that being in front of the mainstream media was like, “Being in front of a fucking firing squad”. Other sources claim he repeatedly said that he was in a “room full of liars”. If he indeed said either of those things, it is difficult to disagree with such an assessment. He also claimed that he “hated” CNN, feelings which seem self-evidently mutual.
According to the generally anti-Trump Politico, the President-elect blasted NBC for using unflattering photographs of him throughout their coverage.
Whether or not these reports are fully accurate is beside the point. Frankly, why would one trust off the record comments from people who publicly slandered Trump on the record and did so without a hint of shame.
What is more significant is what Trump said about his use of social media during his lengthy interview on CBS’s 60 Minutes. Here, Trump said that social media is an effective way to bypass big-media and speak directly to the public. He also stated that it is a quick, cheap and effective way to clarify misstatements made by the mainstream media.
This is unequivocally true and it is heartening. To think that a small smartphone has the ability to reach as many and at times even more people than the mainstream media with their millions of dollars worth of cameras, microphones, lights, sets, drivers, vehicles, offices and staff, is a sign that the world is no longer beholden to the arrogant gatekeepers of news, perhaps better referred to as “fake news”.
Donald Trump was indeed given a very unfair time by the media and he has no reason to forget nor forgive. He also has no reason to placate them, and frankly due to the power of new-media, online media and his own highly effective use of social media, he doesn’t need them.
They are relics of the past and he is a symbol of the future.